Schwartz, Morton K. Department of Clinical Chemistry, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York.
Last reviewed:January 2021
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Organic phosphate compounds are present in the structural units of every animal cell, and inorganic phosphate is associated with calcium in bone and teeth. The total phosphorus in the adult human body is about 12 g/kg, with only 1.4 g/kg present in the soft tissues and the remainder in mineralized tissue in the form of apatite crystals. Blood phosphate plays an important role in regulating neutrality, and it is in equilibrium with both bone and cellular organic phosphates. In plasma it is primarily orthophosphate with HPO42− and H2PO4- present in a ratio of about 4:1. The blood level is held relatively constant by regulating phosphate excretion by the kidney. This control is primarily mediated by action of parathyroid hormone. Vitamin D enhances the entry of phosphate into bone. Phosphate plays an important role in absorption of sugars from the intestine and reabsorption of glucose from the kidney. See also: Parathyroid hormone; Vitamin D
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